It’s summer, students have largely stopped spamming our inboxes, so it’s time to do some writing… And as I am cleaning up my email inbox in one of those work avoidance moments, I came across this lovely blog about writing and bread-making. It’s really about the PhD, but realistically if you live in a country that has the REF, this never ends!
Bread making is fascinating–on the one hand, humans have been making bread for about 15,000 years when all they had was some coals and some ground up grains (Egyptians and Indigenous Australianswere both making loaves that long ago)–and since then, for millennia, people made perfectly edible loaves with rudimentary tools all over the world. Bread making, anyone can do it.
On the other hand, bread making is extraordinarily technical. Modern bread production is highly technologised, with specialised ingredients, equipment and training. Even making a modern loaf at home for serious bakers involves a whole raft of equipment and techniques not used for any other kind of cooking.
The third thing, though, is regardless of whether you make ‘anyone can do it’ bread or a really impressive loaf, only a few people actually bother to make bread at all.